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There is much to look forward to in the upcoming MLB season for the two most popular baseball teams in California.
During the offseason, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed two free agents in pitcher C.J. Wilson, formally of the Texas Rangers, and superstar first baseman Albert Pujols.
Pujols signed a ten-year deal worth $254 million on Dec. 10, 2011, after walking away from an offer made by the Miami Marlins.
Pujols spent the first 11 years of his career as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, where he won two World Series Championships.
His most recent World Series win with the Cardinals was this past season defeating the Rangers in a seven game series.
Pujols decided not to return to the Cardinals despite coming off a World Series victory and after the retirement of manager Tony La Russa.
Wilson is familiar with the Angels after pitching against them so many times as a member of the Rangers, who are both in the American League West.
Having Wilson on the pitching mound should give the Angels a small edge over the Rangers because of his familiarities with the roster and many of his former teammates’ hitting style.
The Rangers have been able to reach the World Series for the last two seasons but have been unable to seal the deal and win it.
The Angels, who were already a playoff-ready team, should find themselves in the middle of the title chase once against after adding Wilson and Pujols.
The other California team that is heading into the start of the season with positive momentum is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Many fans were ready to see a change in ownership with hopes that a new owner can steer the team in a new direction.
During the offseason, a number of groups had added their names into the mix to buy the franchise. Many of the groups included well known celebrities.
A group that included Earvin “Magic” Johnson was the highest bidder. Johnson, who is former Los Angeles Lakers guard and a popular figure all around the Los Angeles area, is already giving a lot of Dodgers baseball fans hope for a bright future.
In the past, any project or idea that Johnson has invested or put time into has turned out successful, and many fans are expecting the same results.
The Dodgers already have key players coming back this season, such as pitcher Clayton Kershaw and outfielder Matt Kemp.
Kershaw is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. In 2011, he was named the National League Cy Young winner, along with the pitching Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average.
Kershaw is the first to becoming the youngest pitcher to accomplish either of these feats.
Kemp is also one of the top players at his position and finished in second place last season to Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun for the NL’s Most Valuable Player award.
With a young core of players the Dodgers are expected to be a contender for the World Series over the next few seasons if not this season.